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Restaurants and Reservations, an Easy, Delicious Combination for Thanksgiving Dinner


Turkey, it’s what’s for dinner at Thanksgiving. But it’s not all that restaurants are offering.

This is the 2012 listing.

Why stress making Thanksgiving dinner when you can have the big meal served to you at a restaurant — and no dishes to wash afterward. There are plenty of options in San Antonio to meet all prices and tastes, including the following list. Reservations are required at all places, unless otherwise noted. Tax and tip are not included in the prices listed.

Achiote River Cafe & Bar at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., (210) 451-6171 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served noon-10 p.m. The buffet starts with Forest Mushroom and Chestnut Bisque and salads: Organic Mixed Winter Greens, Waldorf, fresh fruits and compotes, whole grains and dried fruits, and select seafood. Specialties include Roast Pepper Crusted Tom Turkey and Pan Gravy, Smoked Rack of Pork with Chutneys and Relishes, Stuffed Planked Scottish Salmon, Corn Bread Stuffing with Grilled Poblanos, Crushed Garlic Scented Yukon Potatoes, Cauliflower au Gratin, Coconut Honey Sweet Potatoes, Ratatouille, and Mussels a la Cubana. Pastries and breads round out the array. Cost: $45 for adults, $22.50 for children 6-12. Menu price does not include an 18 percent tip, tax or alcoholic beverages.

Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., (210) 494-0070 —Thanksgiving service will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The meal will be buffet style including your choice of one entrée. Appetizers and salads include antipasti, veg wrap pinwheels, stuffed mushrooms, roasted beet salad, Bibb salad with red wine vinaigrette, green lentil and marinated veg salad and Caesar salad. Entree options:  Sage roasted turkey, cornbread and Tasso ham stuffing;  Cinnamon and Harrisa roasted turkey, sweet potato hash, brussel sprouts with Spanish chorizo;  Ribeye with bacon and onion stuffed potato; and Salmon with lemon risotto and sautéed fennel.  The dessert table includes apple butter pumpkin pie bars, sweet potato bundt cake with marshmallows, peanut butter crunch chocolate bars, bourbon pecan pie, apple crumble pie bars, assortment of cookies. The price: $38.95 for adults or $18.95 for kids 12 and under.

Biga on the Banks,203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0700 — Thanksgiving dinner hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The Thanksgiving dinner includes a selection of appetizers and salads, plus a choice of of the following entrées: Herb Roasted Organic Turkey, sourdough sage and apple smoked bacon dressing, green beans; Jerk-rubbed Organic Turkey, Jamaican rice and peas, plantains; Pepper Roasted Beef Ribeye, grilled Idaho with fixings; braised pork with green chiles and white beans, mustard greens, fried egg;  Organic Nutty Brown Farms Eggs Benedict, English muffin, grilled baby romaine, Canadian bacon; Texas Brioche Toast, three berry compote, crunchy bacon, maple syrup; Crab and shrimp croquettes, basil aioli, frisee, marinated olives and beans; Guajillo-cranberry glazed Red American Snapper, butternut squash pepita risotto cake;  and a vegetarian dish. For a $5 supplement, get baked potato au gratin, Green beans with crunchy onions, garlic mashers, sourdough dressing, country potatoes, scrambled eggs, and pork braised beans. A children’s menu and a dessert station also offered. Cost is $58 for adults and $27 for children 12 and under.

Thanksgiving dinner at Antlers is one of three dining options people have at the Hyatt Hill Country this year.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5600 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chef and owner François Maeder is preparing traditional Thanksgiving dishes with his own taste of Europe. Guests can look forward to a menu with roasted turkey  and baked ham with all the trimmings ($28.50), as well as Maeder’s Veal Scaloppini with mushroom cognac sauce ($33.50) and other restaurant favorites. All entrees are served with fresh bread, salad, appetizer and dessert. A children’s menu is also available.

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., (210) 822-3358 — The Thanksgiving menu will be served 11 a.m.-9 p.m., with breakfast starting at 6:30 a.m. Reservations are not accepted.  Appetizer specials include pumpkin soup, Earl’s Cream of Chicken soup and deviled eggs. Entree options: Roasted Turkey with handmade cornbread dressing, giblet gravy and cranberry relish; fried chicken with mashed potatoes; Thanksgiving pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots; fried shrimp served with a baked potato; and a repeat of last year’s Venison Sausage from Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram and served with German Potato Salad and Red Cabbage. Pies that day will include pumpkin pie, sweet potato pecan pie with Chantilly cream, chocolate ice box pie, pecan pie, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate and butter crème cakes. There will also be a children’s menu.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050; Frederick’s Bistro,  14439 N.W. Military Highway, (210) 888-1500 — Thanksgiving hours are from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and from 5-9 p.m. A few items from the lunch menu: Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup ($6);  Lobster Bisque ($7);  Crab Cake with Spicy Remoulade ($9.5);  Roquefort Walnut Salad ($7);    Avocado, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Salad ($25); Frederick’s Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey served with Home-style Stuffing, Fresh Cranberries and Seasonal Vegetables ($19); Jumbo Sea Scallops with Capers and Lemon and Butter, Caper Sauce ($20); and Black Angus New York Strip with Grilled Shrimp & Béarnaise ($29). Highlights from the holiday dinner menu include Frederick’s Spring Rolls ($9);  Crispy Calamari with Spicy Marinara Sauce ($9);  Oyster Casino ($9);  Escargot Bordelaise with Mushrooms and Garlic Butter ($10);  Frederick’s Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey served with Home-style Stuffing, Fresh Cranberries & Seasonal Vegetables ($25); Norwegian Salmon with Whole Grain Mustard White Wine Sauce ($27);  Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Grilled Shrimp & Béarnaise ($34) and Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout with Avocado Relish ($28). Children’s menu available at both meals.

Green Vegetarian Downtown location only; 1017 N. Flores;  210-320-5865, $15 per person. Prix Fixe menu: Roast Turkey; Glazed Wham; Sausage and Apple Stuffing; Glazed Yams; Green Bean Casserole; Mashed Potatoes; Cranberry Salad; Tea. Please RSVP to marketing@GreenSanAntonio.com. www.GreenbSanAntonio.com

Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 S. Alamo St., (210) 224-3357 — Seating times are at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. The lavish buffet includes fresh salads, bread display, an omelet station, entrées, traditional turkey and dressing, and a delicious dessert display. Price: Adults $34.95, Seniors/Military $31.95, Children 6-10 $16.95, Free for children 5 and under. Includes complimentary valet parking.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort,9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 767-7999 — The resort is offering two dining options for all tastes:

  • The Hill Country Ballroom will be offering a brunch from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Features include a rustic soup station with butternut squash soup, onion soup with Gruyère crouton, roasted tomato soup with smoked cheddar crostini, chicken tomatillo soup, and posole with cilantro and diced onion. The salad bar includes a selection of local greens, composed salads, and a specialty apple and pear tasting accompanied by warm mulled cider, Seafood: jumbo shrimp and cascabel chile cocktail sauce, hand-shucked oysters with jalapeño mignonette, smoked salmon with traditional garnish and mini bagels, smoked garlic mussels. Cheese kiosk and artisan breads will include locally made cheeses and crusty breads, warm, smoked-cheddar green chile biscuits with agave butter, Leaning Oaks Vineyard wine conserves and chipotle-pomegranate jam, and a marinated vegetable and olive bar. On the Butcher Block: citrus-coriander basted tom turkey with house-made gravy, maple-glazed honey baked ham with spicy mustard, and roasted beef steamship with horseradish. There will also be a Cranberry Bar, Pasta and specialties, including sweet potato with marshmallow gratin, corn bread stuffing, mashed garlic potatoes, baked “fresh catch” with lime butter cream sauce, roasted acorn squash with sherry and chestnuts, haricot vert and pancetta. Breakfast items, pastries and a children’s buffet also included. Cost: $49.95 for adults, $39.95 for seniors, and $23 for children 5-12 years.
  • Thanksgiving dinner in Antlers will be served 3-9 p.m. The special menu begins with soup and salad: Spanish Chorizo and Kale Soup with Leeks, Carrots, Celery, and Potato plus Chopped Salad with Romaine and Radicchio, Apple Bacon, Bleu Cheese, Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette. Main Dishes and Accompaniments include Sage Butter Roasted Turkey and Kettle Gravy, Lavender Honey-Glazed Ham, Wild Mushroom and Chorizo Stuffing, Tequila-Jalapeño and Traditional Cranberry Sauce, Smoked Cheddar Whipped Potatoes, Autumn Vegetable Hash, Parmesan Broccolini with Smoked Paprika, and fresh baked breads and butter. Dessert is your choice of Caramelized Pumpkin Tart with White Chocolate Whipped Cream, Roasted Apple-Cranberry Cobbler or Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. Sommelier-recommended specialty wines available. Cost: $53 adults, $42 seniors, and $22 children 6-12.
  • The Springhouse Café will serve dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. The meal will include the traditional Thanksgiving favorites with a carving station for turkey and ham. Cost: $23 for adults, $11.50 for children 6-12. Reservations are not required.

JW Marriott, 23808 Resort Parkway, (210) 483-6622 — The Grand Oaks Ballroom will be the scene of a Thanksgiving buffet from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Options start with breakfast items, including Omelet Station, Fresh Fruit and Berries, Warm Breakfast Pastries, House Smoked Salmon, Mini Bagels, Farm Fresh Scrambled Eggs, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Elgin Hot Links Sausage. Salads, breads, sides and soups will be served along with seafood: Shrimp, Snow Crab Claws, Clams, and Oysters. At the carving station: Maple Brined Tom Turkey, Peach and Cranberry Relish, Prime Rib, Natural Pan Jus, Potato Sea Salt Rolls, and Bourbon Glazed Smoked Pork Loin. A dessert buffet and a children’s buffet are also included. Price: $54.95 for adults, $46.95 for seniors, and $25.95 for children 4 and older.

Las Canarias at La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1177 —The Thanksgiving buffet is served from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The buffet includes complimentary parking and choice of champagne, mimosas and Bloody Mary. The cost is $72 for adults, $36 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger. Regular a la carte dinner service with featured themed specials will resume at 6 p.m.

Las Ramblas, Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., (210) 298-3040 — Seatings are at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. The meal will include two carving stations at the main buffet, a waffle and omelet station, a chilled seafood display, a pastry chef’s table and a children’s buffet. Price: Adults, $41 (with bottomless mimosas and sangria, add $9); children 7-16, $16.

Expect to find all sorts of pies among the dessert offerings.

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, (210) 561-9700 — The restaurant will be open noon-4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. A traditional turkey dinner will be served for $21.95 per person. The a la carte dinner menu will also be served.

Lüke, 125 E. Houston St.,  (210) 227-5853 — The Thanksgiving dinner will be served 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The five-course family-style Thanksgiving feast will be served to all, including service men and women from Fort Sam Houston, who will be honored guests that day. Starters include Crab Deviled Eggs, Southern Caviar and Cornmeal Pancakes, Hogs Head Cheese and Grilled Bread, and Boudin Balls, followed by Shrimp Maison, Braune Farms Beet Salad, Young Spinach Salad, Creole Seafood Gumbo, Turducken, Dirty Rice, Texas Yam Souffle, Mirliton and Shrimp Stuffing and more. Dessert is a choice of Mascarpone and Pumpkin Pie with White Chocolate Croustillant, Wild Turkey Pecan Pie with Vanilla Pot de Creme, Walnut and Apple Strudel with Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream, or Brendan’s Bread Pudding, Candied Pecans, Vanilla Ice Cream. The cost is $45 for adults, $20 for children, plus tax and gratuity. A limited a la carte menu will be available as well.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747— Thanksgiving dinner with will be served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Start with a choice of Butternut Squash Soup, Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Caesar Salad or Mixed Greens with Raspberry Vinegrette, followed by an entree of Cranberry Glazed Carrots; Green Beans & Mushroom Casserole; Creamy Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes; Roasted Turkey Breast with Chorizo, Andouille, Walnut & Cornbread Stuffing; Giblet Gravy and Whole Fruit Cranberry Relish. Dessert is a choice of Pecan Pie with White and Dark Chocolate Sauce, Pumpkin Pie with Fresh Whipped Cream or White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. The cost is $24.95 for adults, $9.99 for children under 10.

The Omni San Antonio at the Colonnade, 9821 Colonnade Blvd., (210) 691-8888 — The Thanksgiving brunch buffet will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a turkey bar featuring several types of turkey, from Cajun and rotisserie to roasted and smoked, and a stuffing/dressing bar with fixings that include shrimp, chicken, chorizo, oysters, prosciutto, dried fruit and nuts. Rosemary steamship of beef and herb-crusted pork loin will also be offered in addition to soups, salads, desserts and breakfast items. The price is $39.95 per adult plus tax and a 21 percent service charge. Children ages 6-11 cost $16.95. You can also sponsor a wounded warrior to a Thanksgiving dinner when you make your reservation.

Candied yams are a seasonal favorite.

Oro at the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., (210) 224-0146 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The seafood selection includes a variety of East Coast Oysters, Ahi Tuna, Gulf Redfish, Gulf Shrimp Ceviche, Gulf Cocktail Shrimp with Pickled Onion and Cilantro Cocktail and Littleneck Clams.  Chilled items include Bluebonnet Farms Heirloom Tomato and Roasted Mushrooms, local lettuces and salads, and assorted seasonal fruit and cheeses. Vegetables include Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Steamed Wild Rice with Cranberries and Huckleberries, Roasted Cherry and Butternut Squash Puree, and Sweet Potato and Braised Cabbage Hash. Hot favorites: Carved Rosemary and Cardamon Scented Turkey, with Classic Dressing, Alamo Beer and Citrus Braised Berkshire Pork Shank, Mesquite Smoked Garlic Studded Beef Sirloin and Natural Jus, and Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Passion Fruit Butter and Charred Bell Peppers. Dessert options: Petit Fours, Classic Seasonal Berry Cheesecake, Caramelized Texas Pecan Pie with Chantilly Cream, and Decadent Pumpkin Pie with Golden Raisin Caramel. Cost: $39.95 plus tax and tip; $19.95 for kids 12 and under. Complimentary Valet Parking.

Ostra at the Mokara Hotel, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — Ostra will have its regular à la carte menu available all day. Featured themed specials are available during dinner service, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Q on the Riverwalk at the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., (210) 222-1234 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Start with shrimp and crab claw shooters, prosciutto, capicola, Genoa salami, mortadella, marinated vegetables and Brazos Valley cheeses, season produce and salads, breads and soup as well as herb-roasted turkey breast or molasses-glazed bone-in ham, both carved to order. The Wall of Fire includes pistachio-encrusted salmon, brussels sprouts with bacon and caramelized onions, Brazos Valley White Cheddar mashed potatoes, Haricot Vert Casserole, and Bruleed Sweet Potatoes. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake, bourbon pecan pie, Calvados apple cobbler, maple creme brulee, clementine fruit tarts, banana pudding cones and cinnamon roll French toast. Cost is $44 for adults or $22 for children. Price includes a glass of champagne and parking in the garage across the street.

Sustenio at Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa, 17103 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 598-2950 — On Thanksgiving Day, Sustenio is hosting a 3-course family style Thanksgiving Day meal from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Start with a choice of two of the following: Apple and Pear Salad, Pumpkin Soup, Truffle Chantilly, Traditional San Antonio Smoked Pork Tamales, Caesar Salad, Double Diamond Texas Quail, Smoked Chicken Deviled Eggs, Crab Salad and Goat Cheese Dip ($5 per person for an additional appetizer.) Choose two entrée selections: Wood Grilled Beef with Wild Mushroom Ragout; Heritage Turkey Breast; Texas Oak-Wood Smoked Ham; Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin; Leg of Lamb; Pan Seared Stripe Bass; Pressed Confit Duck; and Vegetarian Pasta ($7 per person for additional entrée). Choose three side dishes: Grandma’s Corn Bread, Sautéed Green Beans, Savory Pumpkin-Anise Bread Pudding, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Caramelized Root Vegetables, Smoky-Cheddar Stone Ground Grits, White Bean and Grilled Vegetable Salad, Braised Red Cabbage, Honey Glazed Carrots, Sweet Potato Soufflé and Yukon Gold Potato Puree ($4 per Person for an additional side.) Choose two desserts: Peppermint Cheesecake, Spiced Orange-Cranberry Cake, Pumpkin Panna Cotta, Pecan Whiskey Tart, Fruit Tart and Apple Cobbler ($5 per person for additional dessert.)  The cost is $42 for adults, $16 for children.

Many restaurants will serve Thanksgiving favorites family-style.

The Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch, 390 Hermann Sons Road, Comfort, (830) 995-4045 — Chef Brantley is serving Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 5 p.m. The cost will be $49.95 for adults and $29.95 for children under 10, plus beverage, tax and tip.  A salad precedes the meal featuring the following sides: Fresh baked sweet corn muffins with whipped butter; Four Cheese Broccoli Casserole-with Romano, Fontina, Provolone and mozzarella cheese, topped with toasted bread crumbs; Orange Scented Haricots Verts with sun dried cranberries and toasted almonds; Sweet Corn, Water Chestnut and Texas Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing; and Agave Syrup Infused Sweet Potatoes and Spiced Apples with a Whiskey Glaze. You can choose two of the three meats from the carving station: Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Center Cut Pork Loin and Amaretto, Pecan & Peach Glazed Smoked Ham. Dessert choices: Warm Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate-served with Chantilly whipped cream, grated chocolate and marshmallows; Caramel Jonagold Apple Cheesecake Bars with ginger snap cookie crust and streusel topping; and Traditional Pumpkin Pie-creamy custard based pumpkin pie sprinkled with candied pecans and spiced whipped cream.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 299-1600 — The Brazilian steakhouse opens at noon  Thanksgiving Day with a few traditional items, such as roast turkey, sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce in addition to the regular array of meats.

Vegeria Vegan Restaurant, 8407 Broadway, (210) 826-4223 — Vegeria’s Thanksgiving buffet will be 100 percent vegan and gluten free. It will also be completely local and organic.  The cost is $20 and includes drinks and dessert, but not tax or tip.  Seating choices are Slot A: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Slot B: 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.; Slot C: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. On the menu: Corn Cheddar Bread Pudding, Quinoa and Corn Bread Stuffing, Harvest Kale Salad with Candied Pecans and Walnuts, House Salad, Green Bean Casserole, Herbed Mashed Potatoes, Pumpkin and Butter Nut Squash Curry, Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Baked Herb Tofu with Creamy Portabella Gravy, fresh vegetables with homemade vegan cheese, Fresh Corn Bread and Jalepeño Cheddar Corn Bread, Pumpkin Spice Tamales, Spinach and Cream Cheese Tamales, Thanksgiving Stuffed Tamales, Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake, Raw Pecan Pie, Apple Spice Cupcakes, and Pumpkin Spice with Bavarian Cream Cupcakes. The raw menu includes raw savory pumpkin seed loaf with cranberry sauce, raw marinated kale and mushrooms, raw apple and sweet potato casserole, house salad, Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake and Raw Pecan Pie.

The Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-2439 — The Thanksgiving meal will be offered during seatings that run ever half hour from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  The brunch will include soup, salads, and carving stations with roast tom turkey, pineapple-glazed ham and prime rib au jus. Entrees include tomato-mozzarella stuffed chicken roulade, Provençal-style salt cod, and chile-rubbed pork loin. Breakfast specials, an array of side dishes and desserts, and a children’s menu are all offered.  Cost is $49 for adults, $25 for children.

If you would like to add another restaurant to the list, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

 

 

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Respect Your Father! Take Him Out for a Great Father’s Day Meal


Paloma Blanca is giving dads a special queso for Father's Day.

You treated Mom to a special meal on Mother’s Day. Now, it’s time to give Dad his due. Here are a list of places that are open Sunday, June 17. Many have specials just for Dad.

Most don’t require reservations. Tax and tip are not included in the prices listed.

Antlers, Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 520-4001 — Dinner on Father’s Day is from 5:30 to 10 p.m. with items on the menu to include pan-roasted black tiger shrimp, USDA prime Nieman Ranch New York strip, Broken Arrow Ranch antelope tenderloin and pecan-crusted venison chops.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 255-0722 — Father’s Day hours are 5:30-10 p.m. and will feature a series of meat-and-potato favorites: Griddled 16-ounce beef ribeye with baked potato mashers and tobacco onions; Mustard Crusted Australian Lamb Rack with cheesy grits, Rebecca Creek goat cheese and mushroom jus; and grilled 10-ounce beef tenderloin with corn pudding, poblano chimichurri and guajillo demi glaze. Add a jalapeño martini or try a bottle of wine; on Father’s Day, wines over $50 will be discounted 25 percent.

Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., (210) 472-2600 — The restaurant will be featuring its full menu on Father’s Day starting at 5 p.m. In addition, all dads will receive a sleeve of golf balls.

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., (210) 641-1998 — Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the full slate of barbecue favorites, including beef ribs, baby back ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey, brisket and chicken-fried steak.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5454 — Brunch will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Start with an appetizer, such as puff pastry with wine mushroom sauce, the Scottish smoked salmon or the mousse truffle pâté. Then, for your entrée, choose from specials such as shrimp salad on avocado, eggs Benedict, chicken breast with champagne sauce, veal scaloppini with mushroom cognac sauce, fresh rainbow trout almondine, tenderloin of beef with green peppercorn sauce, or shrimp lyonnaise over wild rice blend. The popular Trilogy menu will also be available, featuring tenderloin of beef, lobster tail and rack of lamb Provençal. Prices vary per dish.

Feast, 1024 S. Alamo St., (210) 354-1024 — Father’s Day brunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with items from the regular menu.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 824-9463 (WINE) — The restaurant will open at 11:30 a.m.for a special Father’s Day brunch priced at $34.95, starting with choice of appetizer, followed by choice of Filet Mignon Benedict, New Orleans-style French Toast, Fleming’s Frittata, Steakhouse Filet Mignon Cobb and Prime Rib of Beef. Choice of dessert concludes the meal.

Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 888-1500 — The restaurant will be open for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. with the regular menu.

Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E., (210) 404-2221 — Sunday hours are 5 to 9 p.m., including prime steaks, Australian rack of lamb, grilled redfish with jumbo lump crab, cedar plank salmon and seared ahi tuna.

Las Canarias, Omni-La Mansion de Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1063 — On Father’s Day, the restaurant is offering extended hours for the Champagne Brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the buffet: Applewood Smoked Bacon, Country Breakfast Sausage, Chilaquiles, Poached Cage Free Egg Benedict, Vanilla Malt Pancakes and Waffles, Chef-Prepared Omelets, European Charcuterie, Prime Rib of Beef, Smoked Texas Beef Sausage, Suckling Pig, Venison and Blueberry Sausages, Kobe Beef Hot Dogs, Waygu Beef Sliders, and Guajillo Grilled Shrimp. Cooked to order: Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, Waygu Beef Bavette Steaks,New York Strip Steaks, Lobster Tails on the Half Shell and Number One Ahi Tuna.  The cost is $58.95 for adults and $24.95 for children ages 6-12; tax and tip not included. In addition, the regular à la carte dining at Las Canarias will resume at 6 p.m. Reservations required.

Lüke, 125 E. Houston St., 210-227-5853 — Open from 10 a.m. till 11 p.m. on Father’s Day, Lüke will offer a special of bone-in Texas Waygu Ribeye served with new potatoes and local vegetables for $30. The full menu featuring Buttermilk Fried Quail, the Lüke Burger, the Croque Monsieur and Brendan’s Bread Pudding will also be available. Enjoy a jazz brunch from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. and treat Dad to a beer from Lüke’s selection of craft brews. lukesanantonio.com.

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 E. Basse Road, (210) 444-9547 —  Father’s Day specials include Max’s Clambake, clams and house-made chorizo in a wine broth ($15), Ultimate Steak ‘n’ Eggs ($25) and Texas Ranger Peach Pie ($8).

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747 — The Father’s Day brunch will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and will feature omelets, barbecue ribs, Herb Roasted Chicken, French Toast and Salmon, plus, fresh sides like Loaded Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Garden Salad, Shrimp Pasta Salad and Tropical Fruit Salad. For dessert, enjoy White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce or our New York Style Cheesecake.  Cost is $39.95 for adults, $15.50 for children under 12.

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E Crockett St., (210) 228-0700 — Father’s Day hours are 5 to 10 p.m. with the regular menu of steaks and seafood. There will also be a $59 special that includes a choice of salad (Morton’s Salad, Caesar Salad or Sliced Beefsteak Salad), a choice of entree (Double-Cut Prime Pork Chop, Center-Cut Filet Mignon, Braised Beef Short Rib, Chicken Bianco or Honey-Chile Glazed Salmon Fillet), a choice of a vegetable or potato and a choice of dessert (Double Chocolate Mousse, Key Lime Pie or Individual Soufflé).

Myron's Prime Steakhouse knows how to treat Dad.

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, 10003 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 493-3031 — The bar opens at 4 p.m. and dinner begins at 5 p.m.. In addition to prime steaks, the restaurant serves rack of lamb, salmon, Australian lobster tail and double-cut pork chops.

Ostra, Mokara Hotel and Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — The regular à la carte menu will be available during breakfast and lunch hours on Father’s Day. Featured specials will be offered during dinner service only beginning at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended.

Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine, 5800 Broadway, (210) 822-6151 — The restaurant is offering a free appetizer for all dads from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dads will receive Queso a la Dimas (white queso dip with chunks of beef and poblano pepper) when they dine in-house only. www.palomablanca.net

Perry’s Steakhouse, the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-6161 — Sunday hours are 4 to 9 p.m. The regular menu features prime steaks, a one-pound pork chop, pecan-crusted red snapper and chicken Oscar.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 1170 E. Commerce St., (210) 227-8847; 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, (210) 821-5051 — Hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m. Signature steaks cover a range of favorites from a Cowboy Ribeye to a porterhouse for two, while other entree options include lamb chops, barbecued shrimp and even a vegetarian option.

Sea Island Shrimp House, six locations — All Sea Island Shrimp House locations are open Father’s Day and will feature a Ribeye special—a choice cut 10-ounce ribeye steak with two sides and a freshly baked baguette for $12.99. The ribeye special will be available June 15–17. www.shrimphouse.com.

Tejas Steakhouse and Saloon, 401 Obst Road, (830) 980-2205 — The restaurant is offering Dad a discount. Get 25 percent off all entrees for dads on Father’s Day. The restaurant is serving brunch, lunch and dinner 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 229-1600 — The restaurant is opening at 11 a.m. on Father’s Day. Regular prices will be in effect, but Dad gets to eat free with the purchase of another regular dinner. The offer is limited to one dad per table. Reservations recommended.

Two Step Restaurant, 9840 N. Texas 1604 Loop W., (210) 688-2686 — The regular menu will be available 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. plus the following special: prime rib slow smoked overnight with horseradish mashed potatoes.

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, the Shops at la Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 690-3334 — Father’s Day hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with brunch until 3 p.m. So treat your dad early to his favorite from the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar or later in the day to the likes of green chile barbacoa enchiladas, chorizo-stuffed pork tenderloin or Five-Cheese Macaroni and Achiote Chicken.

Restaurateurs, if you would like to add your restaurant to this list, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

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Troy Knapp on Wine: Show a Little Respect


Troy Knapp

Troy Knapp is executive chef at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, including Antlers Lodge. He’s also a Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. His wine column appears regularly in SavorSA.

Most of the products we eat or drink take an under-appreciated path before arriving on our dining room table.  As a chef, I feel as if I am a shepherd, seeking the best-quality product and consciously taking care of it by showcasing it simply in the best possible way. Wine is no different.  For those who work the vineyard and oversee the wine-making process it is truly a labor of love.   Below I have listed a few techniques that will allow you to enjoy wine at its full potential by simply giving it the attention and respect it deserves.

Glassware

A good-quality, tulip-shaped crystal wine glass will benefit in more ways than one.  First off, crystal is rough compared to glass although not easily detected by the human eye; under a microscope it is quite noticeable. With your fingertip you can easily feel the friction on the rim of a crystal product and even play a subtle ringing hum that cannot be replicated on the perfectly smooth glass product. When wine is swirled in crystal, the rough surface will create more agitation and intensify the aromatics or as we say (volatize the esters) essentially, making it more enticing to the nose.   I find that a medium-to-large tulip-shaped glass is the most universal and will allow for enough room to swirl while concentrating the bouquet.

Seasoning the glass

Always give your glassware a sniff before using as residual chlorine or soap that was not properly rinsed off will most definitely interfere.  Make sure the glass is rinsed thoroughly and aired dry. If you are in a restaurant, ask for a new glass.  Dust can easily work its way into your glass during storage so an easy way to completely enjoy wine without the distraction of foreign remnants is to simply “season it.” To do this, add a tiny amount of the wine you are about to drink to your glass and roll the stem of the glass in your fingers while tilting it.  Essentially you want to cover the entire interior of the glass with the wine.  Then, dump it out.  Remember, I did say use a tiny amount.

Then fill up your glass with confidence in the purity of what you are going to consume.  This is also a good technique when transitioning to a new wine that may have a noticeable dominant character that will stand out in the new wine where it doesn’t belong.  Pouring an un-oaked Chardonnay into the same glass that previously contained a highly aromatic Gewürztraminer is a good example of when the “seasoning” element will help.  Rinsing with water will only contribute to dilution, so I don’t recommend that.

Temperature

This is a big one. We typically pour whites at refrigerator temperature, which is too cold and reds at room temperature, which is too warm. Ideally most whites should be around 45 degrees and most reds at 55-60 degrees. Freestanding wine cellars are great to have as you can generally “set it and forget it.”  Another way to achieve this is to remove your whites from the refrigerator a full half hour or so before consuming and the opposite for reds, as these can benefit from a half-hour of refrigeration. Light-bodied reds can benefit from a more aggressive chill, however the tannin in big powerful reds will be more pronounced when chilled. So, a  slight chill to simply bring them down from room temperature is the objective.

Aeration and Decanting 

Most wines benefit nicely with aeration.  The interaction with oxygen will allow for the wine to emerge and show its full potential.  Pouring the wine into a wide-bottomed decanter and allowing it to rest will require some patience yet will be sure to enhance your drinking pleasure. The million-dollar question is how long? It can range from a half an hour to half a day.  There is no perfect answer as there are so many variables that come into play.  Most wine will definitely benefit from at least a short decant and it can be quite exciting to sip on the wine slowly as it develops and evolves with time in the glass.

Don’t be afraid to decant white wines for a short while as well.  Even sparkling wines can go through a subtle transformation that some will prefer.  It will dial the bubbles back slightly and ultimately showcase the core of the wine.  A narrow-bottomed decanter would be the preferred vessel for sparkling, as you wouldn’t want to spread the contents too thin and overly dissipate the sparkle.

For those with little patience, aerators come in handy and will allow you the benefit of aerating as you go.  You can simply pour a glass at a time through these small devices that will create a fairly viscous interaction with oxygen and open the wine up quicker, while allowing you to preserve the wine in the bottle for later.


Preserving

If you want to store wine overnight there are a few things you need to know.  We just covered decanting and accelerating the interaction with oxygen. In this scenario, however, we need to do the opposite and minimize the exposure to oxygen as much as possible.  Most wine left out at room temperature will most likely be undrinkable the following day.  The refrigerator will slow down the rate of oxidation and therefore preserve the wine longer than if it was left at room temperature.  Some even put their reds in the refrigerator to achieve this.  Wine preservation argon works quite well and will add several days of preservation to your open bottle.  It can be purchased at wine shops for about $10 and is good for around 120 uses.  Another method is to consume half of the contents of the bottle and store the remainder in a half-sized 375 ml .bottle.  If the half-size bottle is topped off and filled properly, it will have minimal exposure to oxygen and allow for another day or two of quality drinking.

So pay homage to the winemakers who give us this wonderful beverage by sipping slowly and most of all — enjoy it at its full potential with others who will appreciate it.

 

 

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Seven Seafood Sensations for Lent


Jalapeño Fried Catfish Sandwich at Big Bob's Burgers.

By Bonnie Walker and John Griffin

If you’re looking to give up red meat during Lent, here are several suggestions of seafood dishes in area restaurants that are guaranteed to keep you satisfied.

Jalapeño Fried Catfish Sandwich, Big Bob’s Burgers, 447 W. Hildebrand Ave. — “Big Bob” Riddle once featured a similar item at the now-defunct Podna’s, where it was a big hit. The fish is marinated in jalapeños and garlic before being breaded in cornmeal and fried. This sandwich builds on the fried fish with pickles, onions, tomato and lettuce with some soothing mayonnaise.

Haw-Mok, Tong’s Thai, 1146 Austin Hwy. — Several Thai restaurants in town serve versions of Haw-Mok, but no one’s quite matches the version here. Assorted types of seafood, including squid, shrimp, mussels and scallops, are cooked inside a foil pouch filled with vegetables, red curry and coconut milk. The pouch is opened at the table, so that the steam inside can escape in an often dramatic billow, leaving you with nothing but tongue-tingly flavors.

The Crab and Portobello Appetizer at Antlers.

Crab and Portobello, Antlers, Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive — Antlers’ menu features a number of seafood dishes including a pan-seared Gulf red fish, but don’t miss the crab and portobello appetizer, a tower of lump crab meat and strips of mushroom are presented with roasted pepper tapenade, tomato and silky slices of avocado.

Georges Bank Skate Wing, the Sandbar at the Pearl, 200 E. Grayson St. — The menu is filled with more seafood treasures than you can imagine including an array of oysters that is pure sensory overload. But the skate wing, no matter how chef Chris Carlson prepares it, has always been one of those culinary experiences that calls you back for more.

Diablo Fish Fillet, Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen, 24165 I-10 W.; 2815 N. Loop 1604 E. — As the name implies, the restaurant is a haven of seafood favorites. This one features grilled white with a topping of crab meat and crawfish swimming in a creamy butter sauce filled with garlic and tomatoes. The devil in the name comes from the addition of serrano peppers to give each bite an extra kick.

Mussels menu at La Frite.

Moules (mussels) with Frites, La Frite Belgian Bistro, 728 S. Alamo St. — On South Alamo, La Frite does a thriving business, not the least of which involves bowls full of mussels, steamed to perfection in their shiny, dark shells and offered in a variety of flavors. We are currently working our way through the list. Most recently it was the Basque and Spanish flavors of chorizo, smoked paprika (pimentón) and wine that  tempted both by aromatics and flavors. The bowl of Moules Provençal came with sprigs of fresh herbs. For a little bit more moulah, order your moules with frites, excellent, crunchy french fries. Add a cool glass of white wine and a slice or two of bread and this is one of the most gratifying meals in town.

Broiled Fish with Nopalitos and Cheese, La Playa, 3201 W. Poplar St.; 3343 West Ave.; 4411 I-10 E. — This casual Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant obviously specializes in seafood. We’ve enjoyed most everything we’ve eaten at the location on West Poplar Street. A favorite quick snack, for example, is the black beans, Salvadoran crema and fried plantain. For more substance, try the foil-wrapped fish, mildly seasoned, topped with cheese and sliced fresh nopalitos (cactus paddle). While you don’t always think of topping firm, white fish with cheese, it really does work in this dish. You can get fries with this dish, but we recommend La Playa’s excellent rice.

 

 

 

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Say ‘I Love You’ by Making Reservations Early


You can treat your sweetheart to breakfast, lunch or dinner on Valentine's Day.

Valentine’s Day vies with Mother’s Day for being the biggest dining out day of the year. That means you need reservations, and the sooner you make them, the better. Otherwise, you may have to wait an hour or two with your loved one for the possibility of a table opening up.

Many places are offering specials over the weekend before Valentine’s Day, for those who want to celebrate a little earlier to avoid the crush.

Some prices listed below are per person, others are per couple. A few are listed per dish. Tax and tip are not included, unless otherwise indicated.

18 Oaks at JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa, 23808 Resort Parkway, 210-491-5841 — The special Valentine’s dinner menu includes a series of appetizer choices, such as oysters on the half shell ($16) or roasted beet salad with goat cheese ($14) as well as the following entrées: 8-ounce filet mignon ($38), 16-ounce rib-eye ($45), baked stuffed lobster ($50), Windy Bar Ranch short ribs ($36), seared Scottish salmon ($34) or olive oil-poached monkfish ($35).

Achiote at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., 210-224-1234 — The Valentine’s menu is available Feb. 10-11 and 14.   The special consists of a Spicy Smoked Avocado Cucumber Shooter and Seared Ahi Tuna Skewer with Citrus Ponzu, followed by Infused Watermelon and Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula, Frisée, Radicchio and Thai Basil Vinaigrette. The entrée is Angus Beef Filet and Gulf Red Fish with Shiitake Mushroom Ragu and Rock Lobster Papaya Salsa. Dessert is Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Tahitian Vanilla Custard and a Dipped Strawberry. The cost is $50 a person and includes a glass of Champagne. www.achioterivercafe.com

Aldaco’s at Sunset Station, 100 E. Hoefgen St, 210-222-0561 — Live flamenco and Spanish guitar will be offered on Valentine’s Day at 7 and 9 p.m. The restaurant is also offering a five-course special: bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese, Ensalada de Patatas y Atun (Russian salad with seared tuna), Gambas con Chorizo y Pan de Tomate (shrimp sautéed with chorizo and garlic, tomato garlic toasts), Champinones y Puntitas de Solomillo al Ajillo (roasted mushrooms and beef tenderloin with garlic sauce) and Flan de Cafe (coffee flan with Grand Marnier cream and shaved chocolate). Cost is $55 a person.

Red and gold beet salad.

Antlers at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, 210-647-1234 — The special Valentine’s menu begins with an amuse bouche of  roasted pepper, goat cheese and basil, followed by a choice of  open-faced petite lobster rolls, brioche and tarragon oil or chile-crusted antelope medallions, crispy shallots and orange oil. A golden and crimson beet salad with blood orange, fennel,feta and roasted hazelnuts is served before your choice of cider-glazed rack of lamb, basil and mint gelée, carrot parsnip purée, warm potato salad with wild boar bacon; grilled salmon, smoked pepper and lemon quinoa, spicy Napa cabbage slaw with cilantro dressing; Niman Ranch filet, pan-roasted morels, purple flowering kale, sweet potato matchsticks, consommé of veal and fresh herbs; or Chile black bean cakes, avocado salsa, cumin and lime yogurt sauce.  Dessert is dark chocolate custard, roasted balsamic strawberries and vanilla crisp. The cost is $68 a person.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., 210-225-0722 — The special Valentine’s menu begins with a choice of carrot soup with lemon, honey and cumin; shrimp croquettes with olives; or roasted asparagus salad with raspberries and brie. Second course is a choice of hot-smoked salmon with roasted broccolini and hazelnuts, purple mashers, tomatoes and dill or beef tenderloin with corn pudding, poblano chimichurri, and guajillo chile sauces. Dessert options include Strawberry Rhubarb Fruit Soup with strawberry sorbet, strawberry rosewater mousse, rhubarb chips and rose petals; Turtle Cheesecake with caramel sauce, toasted pecans and pecan lace tuille; Chocolate Amaretto and Raspberry Pavé, layers of chocolate cake soaked with amaretto, raspberry ganache, candied almonds and raspberry coulis; Orange Canolli, citrus cookie filled with orange cream, vanilla citrus salad and mint oil; and Coconut Dacquoise, coconut pastry cream, tropical fruits, passion fruit sorbet and pineapple chips. the cost of the special is $57 a person or $75 with paired wines. La Rosa’s Photography will be here to take Valentine pictures.

The Bright Shawl, 819 August St., 210-225-6366 — Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a special Valentine’s dinner, which include your choice of Wild Mushroom Bisque or Bright Shawl Signature Salad Greens with Sautéed Goat Cheese Dollars and Cranberries. Main course options are Stuffed Breast of Chicken with Wilted Spinach, Cream, Greek Feta Cheese, Garlic Confit and Lemon Butter Sauce ($26) or Angus Beef Steak Medallions á la Diane, Surf & Turf ($34). Dessert is a Fresh Berry Fruit Tarte or White Chocolate Chambord Napoleon. www.brightshawl.com

Cibolo Moon at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa, 23808 Resort Parkway, 210-491-5841 — The Valentine’s Day special is offered from 5 to 10 p.m. It begins with a choice of appetizer: foie gras with fig bacon jam and brioche or grilled jalapeño poppers wrapped in bacon and filled with cream cheese. Choice of entrée: redfish on the half shell with red chile butter and vegetable; filet and scallop with corn purée, jalapeño and smoked gnocchi; or the Blue Plate Special with seasonal vegetable. Dessert is a duo of dark chocolate Snickers torte and banana pudding.  The cost is $55 a person plus tax and tip. The full dinner menu will also be available.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, 210-821-5600 — Dinner hours on Valentine’s Day are 5:30 to 10 p.m. All  entrées are served with appetizer, cup of soup or house salad, fresh vegetables and dessert. Main course options include Breast of Chicken with Montrachet Sauce ($35), Fresh Salmon Filet with Lemon-Butter and Capers ($35), Shrimp Lyonnaise with Wild Rice Blend ($45) , Tenderloin of Beef Savoy ($45), and Veal Scalloppini with Mushroom and Cognac Sauce ($45). The following is served with appetizer, cup of soup and house salad, fresh vegetables and dessert: Trilogy of Lobster Tail with Lemon Butter, Rack of Lamb Provençal and Tenderloin of Beef with Rossini Sauce ($55). Gourmet breakfast delivery, including a flower for Valentine’s Day, is available for $28.50 a person, plus tax and delivery fee.

EZ’s Brick Oven and Grill, various locations — EZ’s will be open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Feb. 14 and will offer two specials. The three-course dinner for two, starting with an organic spinach salad tossed with blueberries, artichoke hearts, toasted walnuts and house-made lemon ginger vinaigrette or a Caesar salad. It’s followed by an 11-inch Mediterranean pizza or calzone, featuring sweet Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, roasted peppers and more or another favorite pizza or calzone.  For dessert, choose between a Blue Bell ice cream hot fudge sundae or a Valentine’s Day Big Red Blue Bell float!  Two glasses of wine and a bottle of sparkling Pellegrino water are included for $25 per couple. Exchange the two glasses of wine for a full bottle for $32.  If you just want dessert, Be My Big Red features  Blue Bell Ice Cream and Big Red for $4.

Fig Tree Restaurant,515 Villita St., 210-225-2111 — A three-course Valentine’s special is available Feb. 10-14. It begins with a choice of Ahi Tuna au Poivre and Hearts of Palm with Uzu Dressing or Seared Diver Scallop with Truffle Nage and Braised Leeks. Main course is a choice of Braised Waygu Short Rib, Creamy Polenta, Fresh Oregon Truffles and Natural Jus or Lobster and Saffron Risotto, English Peas, Spanish Chorizo, Pequillo Peppers and Lobster Foam. Dessert is either Chocolate Pavé with Berry Sauce or Raspberry Frangipane Tart with Almond Anglaise. Each meal is served with a glass of Champagne. Cost is $75 a person. Regular menu is also available.

Filet mignon a popular choice for a romantic dinner.

Francesca’s at Sunset at the Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, 210-558-2253 — The Valentine’s special is a three-course dinner that begins with the following appetizer choices: sweet white asparagus vichyssoise with shaved black truffle, white truffle-mint oil, white asparagus; surf and turf ensalada with organic romaine lettuce, chilled-steamed black mussels, Texas orange vinegar drizzle and pecan dust; or Haute Caprese with Burrata cheese, heirloom tomato, hoja santa herb, Champagne vinegar, Hawaiian black sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.  Main course options: Grilled lamb T-bone with mint chimichurri, Peruvian potato croquettes, yellow wax beans; seared lemon fish with fresh roasted beet and spinach rounds, mini kiwi blocks and orange foam; filet mignon with wilted red Russian kale, heirloom carrot crisps, purple carrot-cauliflower purée; or Scallops Salteado with multi-colored fingerling potato salad, quinoa pilaf, mustard vinaigrette. Dessert is a choice of a   banana split or tiramisù. Cost is $65 a person. Holiday hotel packages are also available for those with more than food on their minds.

Frederick’s, 7701 Broadway, 210-828-9050;  Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., 210-888-1500 — The special menu includes choice of Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with Leeks Ragout and Caviar, Spring Rolls with Mint Cilantro and Lettuce, Stuffed Quail and Mousse of Foie Gras  Terrine Platter, Assorted Seafood Delicacy or Tuna Tartar with Citrus Vinaigrette. Second course is Frederick’s Salad and Champagne Hazelnut Oil Vinaigrette, followed by a choice of Glazed Duck Breast with Orange Ginger Sauce with Wild Rice, Beef Tenderloin with Jumbo Shrimp and Roquefort Fresh Herb Sauce, Sea Bass and Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Napoleon with Champagne Caviar Velouté, Fresh Maine Lobster and Crab Navarin served with Spring Vegetables on a Bed of Parppedele Pasta or Veal Strip Loin with Foie Gras with Mushroom Duxelle and Madeira Sauce. Dessert is a choice of Frozen Lemon Grass Parfait with Mango and Passion Fruit Purées, Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Cake or Dark and White Chocolate Terrine. The dinner is priced at $90 per person.

Kirby’s Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E., 210-404-2221 — The special Valentine’s menu begins with a  choice of one of the following: Maryland Style Crab Cake,  Grilled Herb Polenta with Sautéed Baby Spinach and Robiola Cheese, Peppered Lamb Lollipops with a Cognac Button Mushroom Sauce and Totten Bay Oysters on the Half Shell with a Cilantro Lime Mignonette. Course two options: Chopped Salad,  Classic Caesar Salad,  Salad Lyonnaise with a White Truffle Vinaigrette  or Lobster Bisque.  Main course options: 7- or 10-ounce Blue Ribbon Filet with a choice of sauces,  18-ounce Rosewood Smoked Rib-eye with Signature Rub,  16-ounce prime New York strip, Lobster Newburg, Australian Barramundi Oscar or  Braised Lamb Shank.  All entrées accompanied by Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed White Truffle Wild Mushrooms and Grilled Asparagus. Dessert is Belgian Dark Chocolate Nirvana Cake with Tahitian Vanilla Bean Strawberry Compote. Cost is $85 a person.

Las Canarias, Omni La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., 210-518-1063 — Executive Chef John Brand has created a special three-course and five-course menu to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The three-course menu includes choice of Roasted Shiitake Mushroom Bisque or Blue Bonnet Farms Hot House Green Lettuces; entrée choice of Pan-Roasted Local Farm Raised Chicken Breast with Swiss Chard, Yukon Gold Potato Purée and Natural Jus or Creekstone Farm’s Braised Beef with Lamb’s Grist Mill Polenta, Baby Carrots and Veal Demi-Glace. Dessert is a Valrhona Chocolate Tasting with Guanaja Chocolate Cake, Equatorial Mousse, Caraibe Panna Cotta and Caramelia Gelato. The five-course menu includes Dungeness Crab and Jerusalem Artichoke Velouté with Sea Urchin Roe; Gundermann Acres Beets with Local Watercress and Chèvre; Lavender Honey-Lacquered Duck Breast and Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Torched Figs and Fiddlehead Ferns; Tasting of Wagyu Beef Prime Rib with Chanterelle Risotto and Sauce Perigourdine; and Valrhona Chocolate Tasting of Guanaja Chocolate Cake, Equatorial Mousse, Caraibe Panna Cotta and Caramelia Gelato. The menus are available Feb. 10-14. The three-course meal costs $125 a person, while the five-course costs $150 a person. The regular menu will also be available.  Las Canarias’ regular champagne brunch offering will be available on Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of the Champagne brunch is $39.95 a person.

Little Rhein Steak House, 231 S. Alamo St.,  210-225-2111 — The four-course Valentine’s special is available Feb. 10-14. Start with a choice of Shrimp and Crab Cocktail or Bacon Wrapped Quail Legs, followed by either a Caesar salad or Beefsteak Tomatoes with Blue Cheese Crumbles. Main course options are served with asparagus, sautéed wild mushrooms and au gratin potatoes plus your choice of the following: Prime Rib Eye, Filet Mignon, Grilled Salmon and Lobster Tail. Desserts include New York-style Cheesecake or Crème Brulee. Glass of Champagne is included. Cost is $68 a person. Regular menu is available.

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 12255 Huebner Road, 210-561-9700 — The restaurant is offering a three-course special beginning with a choice of  Zuppa di Aragosta (Lobster Bisque), Carpaccio Cipriani (Raw Thin Cut of Beef Tenderloin),  Baby Arugula Salad and Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mustard Aioli, Caesar Salad, Insalata di Mare (Cold Salad, Shrimp, Calamari, Scungilli, Diver Scallops, Garlic, Celery, Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or Caprese (Tomato Slices and Fresh Mozzarella di Latte, Basil and Olive Oil). Main course options:  Filetto e Capesante (Grilled Filet Mignon and Diver Scallop, Toasted Garlic Vegetables and Basil Mashed Potatoes, Veal Reduction) or Pesce alla Luce (Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass, Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto, Toasted Garlic Vegetables). Dessert choices are Spumoni,  Crème Brûlée or Chocolate Lava Torta with Vanilla Gelato. The cost is $36.95 per person.

Lüke, 125 E. Houston St., 210-227-5853 — The restaurant will host a private dining event featuring a prix-fix four-course dinner with wine pairings on Feb. 14. Seating begins at 7 p.m. in Lüke’s upstairs private dining space. Menu highlights include pan-seared scallops with Allen Benton’s bacon and spiced pumpkin “love letters.” Dark chocolate torte with blood orange sorbet is dessert. Cost is $75 a person. Prepaid reservations required. The downstairs dining room is also accepting dinner reservations.  lukesanantonio.com

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 E. Basse Road, 210-444-9547 — The Valentine’s Couple’s Menu begins with the Chef’s Choice Amuse Bouche and a half glass of bubbles, followed by Baked Jalapeño and Oysters “Max-a-fellers.” Second course is a choice of Pan-seared Veal Chop with balsamic red onion confit, twice baked white cheddar new potatoes, and Crab and Asparagus Bavorois or Cracklin’ Chicken and Butternut Squash Risotto Dessert:  Pandora’s Chocolate Box of Love (filled with fresh berries and a white chocolate and port mousse). A take-away Valentine’s treat: chocolate and gold laden truffles. The cost is $75 a couple; wine pairings available at an additional $25 per person. The regular menu and items from the couple’s menu will also be available. www.maxswinedive.com

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, 830-438-2747 — Mike’s will be offering a Valentine’s special Feb. 10-14 (the regular menu will be available Feb. 10-11). The multi-course meal will include Lobster Bisque, followed by Shrimp and Grits with Jumbo Shrimp. Entree choices include Pan-seared Sea Bass over Warm Fresh Spinach, Wild Mushroom and Crabmeat Salad with Lemon Scented Creole Cardinal Sauce; Tender Filet Medallion over Feta and Green Onion Potato Cake, Haricot Vert and Wild Mushroom Marchand de Vin Sauce; Pecan and Herb Crusted Lamb Chops with Apple Mint Chutney with Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Haricot Vert. Dessert, served with a glass of Prosecco, is a choice of Chocolate Tort with Warm Chocolate Glaze, Raspberry Sauce and Fresh Raspberries; Molten Chocolate Lava Cake; or Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic and Black Pepper Syrup. The cost is $60 a person.

Ostra at Mokara Hotel & Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., 210-396-5817 — Ostra’s regular a la carte menu is available during its normal hours throughout Valentine’s Day weekend. Additionally, on Valentine’s Day only, Ostra will feature specials during dinner service, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Paesanos 1604, 3622 Paesanos Parkway, 210-493-1604 — The Valentine’s dinner is served with your choice of a bottle of Solletico Prosecco, La Crema Chardonnay or La Crema Pinot Noir. It accompanies two entrées of Classic Shrimp Paesano with pasta and two house salads, plus bread, followed by Limoncello Cheesecake. The cost is $95 per couple plus tax and tip.

Paesanos Riverwalk, 111 W. Crockett St., 210-226-8490 — Valentine’s seatings are at 7 and 9 p.m.  Dinner begins with an optional appetizer sampler for two (for an $14.95 a person) of Parmesan Crusted Artichoke Hearts and Giant Calamari with Duet Of Sauces and Crab Cake Croquettes. The special begins with  House Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette, Olives, Tomatoes and Feta Cheese.   Entree choices include Shrimp Paesano with Lemon Butter and Garlic; a Grilled Ribeye Steak and a Herb Garlic Béarnaise Sauce; Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast with Linguini, Capers and Lemon Butter Sauce;  Grilled Ahi Tuna and a Basil Parmesan Vinaigrette; or Cheese Tortellini with Basil Pesto Cream and Pine Nuts.  Dessert is Lemon Mascarpone Cream Cake. The  children’s menu is a choice of Lasagna, Manicotti or Spaghetti with Butter or Tomato Sauce. Iced tea and soft drinks included.  The cost for the meal is  $51.95 a person plus tax and 20 percent tip; the cost for children ages 9 and under is $25.95 per child plus tax and 20 percent tip.

The Cupid Quesadilla at Paloma Blanca.

Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway, 210-822-6151 — The restaurant is offering the following specials Feb. 10-16: Sabor de Amor ($29.99), includes a 7-ounce filet mignon grilled “au” carbon and topped with chipotle butter; Cajita Corazón (19.99), a chicken breast filled with champiñones (mushrooms), corn and Oaxaca cheese, covered in a creamy poblano sauce and topped with melted cheese; and Quesadilla de Chocolate Cupido ($9.99), Chocolate Abuelita ice-cream sandwiched between two flat chocolate buñuelos drizzled in a Kahlua reduction.

Q on the Riverwalk at the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., 210-222-1234, ext. 4240 — The Valentine’s menu will be available Feb. 10-11 and 14. It begins with an amuse-bouche of  Gulf Blue Crab Cake Paddlefish Caviar, followed by Hearts of Locally Grown Organic Romaine Lettuce with Heirloom Tomato, Aged Asiago Cheese and Moët-Blood Orange Vinaigrette. After an intermezzo of Passion Fruit Sorbet, dine on Chateaubriand with Fennel Bulbs, Swiss Chard, Baby Patti Pan Squash, Golden Beets and Chateau Potatoes with a choice of sauces. Dessert is Strawberry La Bomba, an explosion of strawberry and amaretto cream in an almond-flecked cake. The cost is $100 per couple and includes a glass of Champagne per person. www.qontheriverwalk.com

Romo’s Cafe, 7627 Culebra Road, 210-521-7666 — The four-course Feb. 14 special includes she crab bisque and foie gras garden, followed by a palette cleanser of tarragon sorbet and Champagne. For entrees, choose two of the following: beet and potato wrapped seabass with citrus beurre blanc; crab raviolo with crab aioli; handcut Texas rib-eye with red wine redux; lamb with a green peppercorn demi; and pheasant with herb l’orange. Choose your sides: potatoes gratin, haricot vert, spinach saute or herb roasted potatoes. Dessert is a trio of raspberry devil’s chocolate cake, cheesecake with honey and figs, and RoMo’s chocolate bar. Cost is $80 per couple.  A wine pairing including two special blends from the Boerne Wine Company is available for an additional $35 per couple. Book your reservation before Feb. 8 and receive a special gift (chocolate-dipped strawberries) and a rose for your date. On Feb. 11, the restaurant will celebrate Singles Awareness Day with a special menu for those Anti-Valentines.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., 210-299-1600 — The restaurant is offering special Valentine’s Day cocktails and a decadent chocolate dessert in addition to the regular offerings. Drink specials, priced from $7 to $9, include the Brazilian Rose, the Brazilian Kiss, the Raspberry Cream Dream and the decadent Milky Way Martini. The special dessert is a Triple Layer Chocolate Mousse Cake just right for sharing.

Tost Bistro and Bar, 14415 Blanco Road, 210-408-2670 — The Valentine’s Day special includes a multi-course meal that begins with a seared scallop on top of crispy roasted red beet risotto cake with spicy chimichurri, followed by Tost Bibb Salad with lardons, shaved carrots, cherry tomatoes with creamy buttermilk chive dressing or Butternut Squash Bisque. Main course choices are a pan-seared filet topped with truffle hollandaise with roasted wild mushrooms, grilled asparagus and creamy Yukon gold mash potatoes or crab-stuffed red snapper with roasted fingerling potatoes, spinach and a Champagne thyme beurre blanc. End with a choice of white chocolate mousse with fresh berries or house-made sorbet. The cost is $58.00 a person.

Two Step Restaurant and Cantina, 9840 W. Loop 1604 N., 210-688-2686 — The special Valentine’s Day menu includes a shared entrée, with your choice of 12-ounce Prime Rib Slow Smoked for 10 hours or 10-ounce Blackened Beef Tenderloin with Poblano Pesto Cream Sauce. Either choice is served with six Hot Buttered Shrimp with Tabasco Lemon Sauce and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes. Dessert is El Rey Chocolate Silk Custard. Two glasses of wine, your choice of Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay or Cabernet, included. Price is $50 per couple. twosteprestaurant.com

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, 210-690-3334 — Z’Tejas will offer a three-course Valentine’s Day menu Feb. 11–14. The menu features a Baja shrimp martini to start, followed by a choice of ancho grilled pork tenderloin, peppercorn-crusted filet, pan-seared sea scallops or pepita-crusted chicken. A white chocolate mousse with raspberries and PAMA pomegranate syrup will be available for dessert. Accompany the meal with Valentine’s Day cocktails featuring PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur. Menu items are priced individually.

Restaurateurs, if you would like to add your Valentine’s information, email griffin@savorsa.com or walker@savorsa.com.

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Celebrate the Holidays with a Free Glass of Texas Wine at Antlers


Enjoy a glass of Texas wine at Antlers.

As the days dwindle down to Christmas, it’s time to take a few moments off to enjoy a good dinner and a relaxing glass of wine.

The folks at Antlers in the Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, are helping you do just. From Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 22-24, the restaurant is offering a free glass of Texas wine as part of a promotion to show you how they are using the best local and sustainable ingredients available. And what better to enjoy with local foods than a glass of local wine?

Just print out this story and bring it with you to the restaurant for your free glass. Limit one per adult.

For more information, call the restaurant at 210-520-4001 or visit opentable.com for reservations.

 

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Spectacular Brilliance: A Small Price for Lasting Memories


Troy Knapp is executive chef at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, including Antlers Lodge. He’s also a Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. His column, Spectacular Brilliance, appears monthly on SavorSA.

By Troy Knapp

Troy Knapp

Thanksgiving and other memorable holiday dinners are priceless, so, for Pete’s sake, don’t skimp on the wine!

To save a few dollars in these occasions that are few and far between would be, in my opinion, the wrong place.  Yes, great wines come with a cost, however I’m sure, you will discover the extra money is well worth it.   For these rare holiday occasions when friends and family come together, why not seek out something truly special that will enhance the experience?

When making holiday selections, quality always overrules quantity! I’ll never understand the fixation with buying cheap food or wine.  This is the one area in life that I’m not willing to skimp. Quality comes with a cost and requires you to seek it out.  “The best you can afford,” is a great motto to live by.  Conscious food is what we need to strive toward, as it not only tastes better, it is significantly better for the environment as well as our health.  So, when it comes to the Thanksgiving table, look for all-natural turkey, lots of beautiful, organic vegetables and of course, great wine!

Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Gamay (Beaujolais) are frequently purchased to accompany the Thanksgiving table as they have a good relation with the traditional dishes we all love.  There are a wide variety of these wines, so beware of some common misconceptions.  You can easily find many of these wines in the “$10 and less category” that will be quaffable, however, they pale in comparison to what these varietals can offer.

Riesling  is quite an amazing grape variety; ranging from common and unexciting wine to truly extraordinary examples that are very well respected in the world of wine aficionados.  Grand Cru Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner and Pinot Gris (known as Tokay) from Alsace in France are all great options for Thanksgiving dinner.

The wines of Alsace France are typically full bodied and dry where as the sweeter styles hail from Germany and the residual sugar is wonderfully contrasted with bracing acidity.  These wines typically start in the $40- $60 price range and can be found at a specialty grocer or wine shop.  Germany has a complex system of classification and reading the label can be intimidating.  A little research, or simply asking for assistance in the wine shop, will go a long way in finding your selection.

Beaujolais Nouveau is released every year on the third Thursday of November.  This wine is readily on display at most markets and meant to be consumed young. However, I recommend you seek out premium bottling of Beaujolais from one of the ten specific village/sites that have been awarded Cru status. “Cru” is a French term that refers to “growth place,” so wines from certain “Cru” regions have strict standards that result in depth and complexity not found in common Beaujolais bottling.  Ask for Morgon [moor – gah] or Moulin au Vent [moo-lahn-ah-vah].  Both of these bottlings typically start in the $30 price range.

Pinot Noir pairs rather well at the Thanksgiving table, and Premier Cru or Grand Cru Red Burgundies are simply spectacular.  Pinot Noir from Germany and New Zealand are not as abundant, however, both are well worth tracking down. Both options are much lighter than their California counterparts and showcase the delicate and lighter side of Pinot Noir. For something in the middle try Oregon Pinot Noir.  It is readily available and shares a common elegance as other cool climate pinots.  This region offers characteristics between the earth-driven wines of Burgundy, France and the fruit-driven Pinots of California.  A great choice for a group of diverse palates.

Regardless of your selection, quality should be the focus and will certainly be worthy of a few extra bucks.

My most memorable dining experiences are those with special friends and family, enjoying conversation over great wine.   My wife and I will always remember a few specific bottles that we shared long ago.  They were supported by great ambience and hold a place in our memories.  We look forward to drinking these same wines on special occasions, especially during the holidays; just as hearing a piece of music can bring us to a certain place in time, wine shares a similar relation.   Pulling a cork from a special bottle is like opening a time capsule, our senses connect with memories and thoughts are re-lived.

So seek out that special bottle.  It’s a small price for lasting memories.

From my family to yours, in health and happiness, have a happy Thanksgiving.

 

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Chef’s Corner: Louis Venditti’s Almond Cookies


Louis Venditti, former pastry chef at Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa

From Louis Venditti, the former pastry chef at Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa come these utterly delectable Almond Cookies. We had them on our dessert plates during a visit to Antlers during Culinaria’s Restaurant Week. I was determined to get the recipe.

Venditti was kind enough to share it. And, to my surprise, it called for a half-pound of lard. “That’s what makes them so delicious,” says Venditti.

Apparently the use of lard, whether in pastry, pizzas or pasta, has become trendy.

Regina Schrambling in “Slate” predicted this in a posting in 2009, “I’m convinced that the redemption of lard is finally at hand because we live in a world where trendiness is next to godliness. And lard hits all the right notes, especially if you euphemize it as rendered pork fat—bacon butter. ”

The “bacon butter” terminology works for me. Though, I’m thinking that butter and/or shortening could be substituted for the lard in this recipe.

Also, note that Venditti’s recipe indicates weight, not cup measurements for the flour and sugar. The first time I tested this recipe I used a conversion chart to turn ounces into cups and the results were not good. The second time I weighed the flour and sugar out on my kitchen scale (once used for Weight Watchers, and the irony did not escape me) and discovered I’d put extra flour into the first batch.

The results were much better the second time, and the measurements in parentheses below will work.

Almond Cookies from Louis Venditti’s recipe.

Almond Cookies

15-1/2 ounces flour (3-1/4 cups)
7- 3/4 ounces sugar (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound lard
1-1/4 ounces butter
1  egg
1  egg yolk
1-1/3 tablespoons almond extract
2 tablespoons half-and-half, for brushing
3/4 cup sliced almonds

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in the lard and butter.  Whisk the egg, egg yolk and almond extract together, then and mix into the dry ingredients until combined. Roll dough into 1- inch balls, flatten between your palms and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten them a bit more, then brush with the half-and-half.  Top each cookie with slivered almonds.  Bake in 350 degree oven until just golden brown around the bottom edges and just starting to brown lightly up the outer sides of the cookies.  (In my oven this was 13- 14 minutes.) Let them cool on a rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

From Louis Venditti, pastry chef at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa

These were from the first batch of cookies. Not like Venditti’s, but good enough to eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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